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Essential service

Employee guidance for areas in lockdown

Alexandria, VA, Letter Carrier Abdul Bundu delivers mail earlier this year.

The Postal Service is reminding employees and contractors that, as essential public service providers, they are exempt from government lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic while engaging in work activities.

With virus infections spiking across the nation, many state and local governments have instituted curfews, orders, quarantines and other travel restrictions.

During this time, USPS — part of the nation’s critical infrastructure — is continuing normal operations to provide regular, reliable service to customers, especially during the peak holiday season.

Postal Service employees and contractors traveling for work in areas with curfews, “shelter-in-place” orders, quarantines or travel restrictions should do the following:

• Always carry your USPS-issued identification badge and essential service provider letter, which affirms you are exempt from general quarantine restrictions. The organization first issued these letters in March and has periodically provided employees with updated versions since then.

• If questioned by state or local law enforcement officials enforcing travel or other restrictions, respectfully show your postal ID and the essential service letter to identify yourself as a postal employee or contractor.

• Explain the nature of your work for the Postal Service and the reason why you are traveling, whether you’re traveling from home to work, during the workday or returning home from work.

Employees and contractors should also carry their supervisor’s phone number and email address in case authorities need additional information.

USPS is continuing to work with federal, state and local health authorities, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to ensure employees and customers have the latest guidance on the pandemic.

Managers and supervisors recently delivered a stand-up talk with this information and distributed copies of the latest version of the essential service provider letter.